Last updated: February 27, 2022
Imagine if you could listen in on a conversation that would tell you exactly what your prospective customers and target audience want from you; enabling you to give them exactly what they need and ensure your brand’s success.
You’d listen in, wouldn’t you?
The good news is that with Social Listening – a social media strategy that allows you to track, analyze, and respond to brand and industry related conversations online – you have access to all this information.
Social media intelligence helps you turn insights into substantive opportunities that will maximize your reach, engagement, and results – but it takes more than just listening. You need the right tools and an actionable plan to get to that success.
Here’s how you can take advantage of all the benefits of social listening.
1. Utilise social listening Tools
Some of the best tools for social listening are Hootsuite, Sprout Social, and HubSpot.
Hootsuite combines all your messages, comments, and brand mentions into one convenient dashboard, from which you can also respond. Their Analytics & reports allow you to track what is being said about your brand, your competitors, and the industry you’re in.
Sprout Social has a dedicated Twitter Listener dashboard and reports and uses real-time brand monitoring to track messages and keywords specific to your brand. It also offers advanced social listening that brings emerging trends and influencers to your attention.
With HubSpot, you’re able to monitor social interactions with contacts in your database, create customized keyword monitoring streams, and set up email alerts that let you know when your prospects mention you.
2. Learn what affects purchase decisions
The internet is a goldmine of information. Everything you need to know is out there, and with social listening, you can find it. Perhaps one of the greatest advantages of social listening is learning which factors affect your potential customers’ purchase decisions.
Recommendations left on web forums and other online platforms are usually a great place to find detailed descriptions of a customer’s experience. Through listening in on these conversations, you can find out exactly what you need to do to influence their decision.
3. Keeping Up With The Competition
Social listening is not only a great way to find out what your prospective clients want and need but is also a great way to keep an eye on your competition. How active are they in online conversations? Are they responsive and quick to provide solutions? Is there something you can provide that they are falling short in?
4. Improve and enhance your campaigns
Are you introducing a new product or launching a new social media campaign? Do you want to know what your competitors are up to? Social listening helps you spot all the mentions relevant to your business – and that includes mentions about your competitors.
With social listening, you can learn all about your target group, including your user demographic, the online channels they prefer, when they are at their most active, levels of engagement, and much more. You’ll also find out what language your prospective clients respond to.
Using this, you can then design an efficient and effective marketing strategy that works.
5. Use it to improve customer service
Did you know that a simple 5% increase in customer retention can lead to a 25% increase in profit? If you want to have brilliant customer service (and who wouldn’t?), social listening is one of the best strategies to utilize. Though no one wants to hear negative mentions of their product or service, criticism is the best way to find out what your customers want, and how you can make their experience exceptional.
And another bonus benefit: social media monitoring software collects mentions as soon as they’re posted, which means you can respond quickly. No one likes waiting, and no one likes to be ignored. The faster you are responding to your customers, the better.
6. Let Social listening help you find new leads
With social listening, you can monitor different types of keywords, including:
- Your particular product or service
- Any specific features
- Industry terms related to your business
- Your brand or company name
- Your competitors
Monitoring these mentions opens up a new world of leads for you, because these people are already actively interested in your product or service. The phrase ‘Where can I buy’ is one of the best ways to turn leads into conversions, because you’re reaching out to people who have a genuine need for what you offer.
But, having said that…
7. Do it socially
Customers do love getting solutions to their problems; however, they are less enthusiastic about getting a hard sell. Using social listening to develop relationships with potential customers may take more time than pushing a product or service, but it is so much more rewarding.
The best way to go about it is to reach out in a friendly way and share information that will help them. Then, when it comes time for them to make a purchase decision, your brand will already have been established as the best possible option for them.
8. Identify collaborators
There are two types of collaborators. Natural collaborators who already love your brand and have great things to say about you on social media, and potential collaborators.
Potential collaborators are thought leaders in your industry. These people are hugely influential and, therefore, very important to connect with, as they can influence how others perceive you.
Using social listening, you can find ways to become a part of relevant online communities and conversations in an organic way, and one that is perceived as helpful rather than salesy.
As Hootsuite’s Social Media Trends 2022 Report confirms:
“If people within the community see you as an active partner in supporting the creators they admire, they’ll be more likely to trust that you have their best interests at heart too.”